Fresh Takes

When bucks lock down in heavy cover, it’s time to change tac­tics

Field and Stream - - WHITETAIL HANDBOOK - By Scott Bestul

In early Novem­ber, those just-out-of-bow-range bucks seem to be ev­ery­where—and you just know you’re go­ing to kill one as soon as you can carry a gun to your stand. Then dawn breaks on open­ing day of firearms sea­son, and you can’t spot a rut­ting buck to save your life.

Peak breeding, also known as the lock­down phase, of­ten hap­pens dur­ing firearms sea­sons in mid to late Novem­ber, when hunt­ing pres­sure makes bucks tougher than ever to find. Stop watch­ing empty trails from stands that were hot a week ago, and try one of these tac­tics in­stead.

The Hide­out

A Mon­tana buck in cover with a doe.

Get Mov­ing Still-hunt­ing is a solid tac­tic dur­ing the lock­down.

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